Day 3: Fallon, NV to Alturas, CA. I forget how many miles.
So the tentative game plan was to get to Lakeview, CA with plenty of time to put on four tires by ourselves. An easy day with a stop for some coffee in Reno then on to Lakeview. Cool
The plan started off good with an early start and quick ride to Reno.
We took a little look at the maps though and came up with another plan...
The Rand McNally state atlas I was using for the road section of this trip showed Lassen Volcanic National Park only an inch away! Awesome. (I'd thought about doing Lassen in the trip planning but the idea of an easy day sounded good too. You may also start to notice a recurring theme of me dragging the others on "short" detours in order to collect NP stamps for the IBA challenge)
Pretty scenic ride on the way to Lassen:
The weather was perfect too. In the 70s with some clouds.
We get to Lassen mid-morning. Pretty impressive scenery...
The visitor's center.
The volcanoes as seen from behind the visitor's center.
Amazing roads through the park too.
When we get to the end of the Lassen we (shit-show Benny and I) take a look at the maps again. Hmm, Lava Beds National Monument is only a couple more inches out of the way...Sweet! Let's go! We grab a quick 2 hour lunch at a cafe outside the park and consequently have to haul balls to get to the park before a presumed closing time of 4:00.
I'm glad I forget the mileage of this day because this side-trip probably put us over 500 easily when it was originally going to be around 250. We didn't mess around at all getting to lava beds, cruising at 80+ and not stopping for about 170 miles. We get there and I go straight for the passport station and get my stamp. I couldn't care less about the small lava rock formations and we didn't have time for the caves. It was already almost 5 and we were still at least 70 miles or so from the closest major town- Alturas. I was seriously dreading the inevitable tire change that was yet to come.
We get to Alturas and I'm guessing it was around 6. So we still had plenty of daylight. We grab a drink at the gas station, throw our shit everywhere, and get ready to change some tires. Oh, and needless to say, everyone was at a very high level of motivation and energy after the long day of riding and worthwhile detour to lava beds..
The old man got the front wheel of the DR in quick order. He then conveniently walked off to the gas station across the street to presumably buy some more Metamucil. Benny and I pry the old tire off and spoon the new one on surprisingly quick and painless.
As we're working on getting my front wheel off an Alturas Local named Mike shows up to see what the show was all about. This is also a good time to note that if you are feeling lonely and are need of attention, there is no better way to get people to come up to you and engage you in interesting conversation than to travel by motorcycle with extra tires. I'm not generally an asshole, but I can only take "You ROAD all the way here??" "Why do you have extra tires??" so many times before I am able to keep the tire iron in my head and not lodged in their face. That being said, Mike was not the usual charecter and asked if we needed help and what our plans were. I explained what we were doing and he is quick to offer up his yard for us to camp and also that he is buds with the owner of the local MC shop. AWESOME!! Long story short, his buddy is willing to meet us at the shop at 7am the next morning to do our tires right and we were treated to this free campsite, fire ring and all:
Kind of hard to tell,but that's his house in the background on about 5 acres of land. Couldn't have asked for a better spot really. We brought him a case of beer to say thanks then set up camp and kicked back a few ourselves.
The plan for tomorrow was to wake up and be ready to go at the shop at 7, get the tires mounted, and head off to the OBDR trailhead that was about 45 miles or so north of Alturas.
We were all really psyched and ready to get off pavement and start ripping on some fresh knobbies on the long awaited OBDR. Day 4 coming up soon.